Everyone wants a tight, toned tummy but few of us were genetically gifted a six-pack. Fortunately, we all do have abs—they're just covered up! It's in your power to create a sexy, sculpted stomach, even if it's not in your genes. The secret? Core-focused, fat-blasting cardio blitzes coupled with muscle-defining strength sessions.
Optimally try to fit in five sweat sessions a week and cut 500 calories a day from your diet to shed about 2 pounds a week, including stubborn belly pudge! Can’t manage to find that much time? Fine! Think of doing half as many workouts while still eating 500 calories fewer a day-you'll lose at least 1 pound a week. Use these 20-, 40- and 60-minute firm-abs workouts to help you reach the magic number and melt away your middle. Add in two weekly strength sessions designed to reveal sexy muscles head to toe. Grab a pair of 5- to 10-pound weights, do two sets of these simple sculptors, and watch your pooch skooch!
Magic multitasker Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lunge forward with left leg as you reach right arm forward, left arm back. Return to standing, twisting torso to right as you drive right knee and left elbow toward chest, right arm extended back, for one rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Waist whittler Start in push-up position, legs together and extended behind you. Rotate and lower hips to left, letting feet shift so they’re stacked, then rotate back to center, then to right, for one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps.
Back strengthener Stand with feet staggered, left foot in front of right, right heel lifted, left knee slightly bent. Balancing on left leg, tilt torso forward until you feel a deep stretch in hamstrings, letting hands hang toward floor for balance. Return to upright position. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Squat supreme Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out; hold a weight in each hand in front of body, palms facing out. Rise onto balls of feet. Squat, then, staying on tiptoe throughout, stand, curling weights toward chest, for one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps.
Lower-body blast Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees soft, arms down. Step left foot back and to right, lowering into a curtsy lunge, until right thigh is almost parallel to floor, as you reach arms across body to right. Return to standing as you kick flexed left foot to left at hip height, reversing arms, for one rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
Allover accentuator Start in push-up position. Lift hips to ceiling so body forms an inverted V with legs extended, heels raised and arms straight (Downward Dog). Bend elbows and scoop forward until hovering above floor with back arched and chin lifted (Upward Dog). Return to Downward Dog for one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps.
Tummy tamerLie faceup on bench with legs together and extended toward ceiling; hold bench for support. Contract abs and lower legs until hovering above bench, then raise legs and curl hips off bench as high as you can, reaching toes to ceiling. Slowly lower hips and legs for one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps.
Arm-flab fighter Sit on edge of bench, hands at front of seat, fingers forward, knees bent 90 degrees. Use arms to lift yourself off bench. Place right hand on right knee; extend left leg in line with hip. Lower body until left elbow is bent almost 90 degrees. Straighten left arm for one rep. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.
See the how-to for these moves at Self.com.
Get the full plan for flat abs in four weeks.
By Lucy Danziger